Skype, voice and video calling, is coming to Outlook.com, Microsoft announced on Monday. The company is rolling out the service as a preview, starting with UK now, and Germany and the U.S. in the coming weeks; for everyone else support will arrive in summer.
Outlook.com has been receiving a number of updates lately, but the missing feature was the ability for users to make calls right from the inbox and now that feature is coming.
Skype for Outlook.com integration works by installing a simple plugin in the web browser (The VoIP plugin works with the latest versions of IE, Google Chrome, and Firefox). Once the plugin is installed, Skype users will have to link their account with Outlook.com using a Microsoft account before making a call.
To use Skype through Outlook.com is as simple as clicking on the audio-call or video-call buttons in an IM conversation, or by hovering the contact in the inbox. It’s worth noting that a plugin isn’t require for chat, but for voice and video calling is.
Although, integrating Skype and Outlook.com together to make calls right from the web browser is a welcome feature, Microsoft is also playing catch up, because Facebook and Google already offer the same functionality to make calls from a web browser with Facebook Video Calling and Google Voice.